Posted by Phil on July 11, 2016
So........hands up who's still chasing that elusive guitar tone? Whats that? Nearly all of you?
Let me me tell you my tone story and how it appears (for now!) to have ended....
When i was 16 my guitar rig was as follows:-
Kramer Baretta, into a Pro-co Rat, Chorus Pedal, then into a hot-rodded (think a JCM800 with a bit more gain) 1976 Marshall SuperLead ( Which I later sold to the guitarist from the UK Subs...but thats a story for another time!) with a Marshall 4x12. That tone at was amazing.....but the grass is always greener etc etc...So...I got rid of the Superlead and bought a JCM900 and another 4x12....WOW this was amazing....the difference was (it appeared!) staggering.Of course the late 80's and 90's meant that all my gear (according to Guitarist magazine etc) was obsolete....Racks were the way forward! This was an expensive venture.... In my rack the gear was this:- H&H Mosfet power amp, Marshall JMP1, ADA MP1, Zoom 9150, Zoom 2120, Digitech GSP7, Korg Tuner, Nady Wireless and the mighty Eventide H3000.... All of this was controlled by a midi pedalboard the size of a small planet into 2 marshall 4x12's in stereo. Looking back i'm sure that the patrons of the Roman Bath really appreciated the stereo effect....Not as much as the landlords who were often heard to mutter the words "Its not bloody Wembley mate"
So where now? Well the rack thing although really versatile didn't do it for me anymore so i went through an increasing number of boutique amps....Not in order but they were :-
Mesa Boogie MK3
Mesa Boogie MK4
Theres more i'm sure....but age tends to make the memories a bit murky at the best of times! Of course along with the amps came new guitars.....Suhrs, Tom Andersons, Custom Shop Fender Strats and Teles, a 1955 Strat (Real) and a 1959 Les Paul Jr (Also Real)....more Les Pauls than you could shake a stick at and many many many more........
Anyways then I came across the most amazing bit of kit....the Kemper Profiler....now i'm a massive fan of the Kemper... the tomes are AMAZING it did anything I asked of it it and it was easy to use and sounded great... therein lies the problem and also the solution to my tone quest.
With the Kemper I ended up using one patch.... the Hot Rodded 800... I couldn't believe how much this was "MySound".....In fact it was so my sound that it was the only patch I used....great! The thing was all of my boutiquey guitars didn't cut the mustard...so back to the 80's superstrats!
Well...I bet you can guess were this is going.....i had just spent 27 years chasing the tone that originally had when i was 16....and now....Yup I play a Kramer Baretta into a hot-rodded Marshall and yes......i've never been happier! It just goes to show sometimes you need to listen to yourself and if you like your tone....its probably the right tone for you...Of course i'm not going to deny i've loved owning all the gear i've bought and i don't regret any of it but for me that tone i spent all that time chasing....I already had!